Online raffle fundraisers have become a standard tool in the nonprofit fundraising arsenal, and not just because of the pandemic. The truth is, online raffles are an easy way for nonprofit organizations raise money.
Now that people are meeting in person again (hurray for that, by the way!), merging in-person and virtual fundraising events is where it’s at. Fun fact: Most of the thousands of raffles conducted using the Eventgroove fundraising platform are hybrid—that is, a mash up of an online raffle and traditional raffle!
Below, we’ll detail how to combine an online raffle with an in-person raffle, pass on tips for hybrid raffle success from our customers, and share visual examples of actual hybrid raffles run by nonprofit organizations on our raffle platform.
The benefits of merging an online raffle and traditional raffle
By conducting raffle ticket purchases both in person and online, your fundraising event will be even more successful. After all, many people are eager to get out again, and those that are staying home or are too far away to attend can still participate. Plus, thanks to the wonder of social media, supporters can share your raffle website within their networks and thus extend your reach even further. In other words, running a hybrid raffle is a win-win. You’re raising awareness of your cause and forging new connections, the result of which is a larger donor base and the achievement of fundraising goals.
P.S If you’re unsure about how to run an online raffle, don’t worry! It’s super easy. Read How to Set Up An Online Raffle and Win! to get up to speed.
How to run an online raffle and traditional raffle simultaneously
Start with a platform built to handle virtual fundraising events! We’ve written the following five steps as though you’re using Eventgroove as your raffle platform, but these steps offer a useful overview for how to run a hybrid raffle anywhere.
As a precaution, before getting started, double-check your area’s raffle laws using this handy guide.
1. Set up your raffle website.
You’ll notice a ticked box in your Eventgroove Fundraising dashboard indicating you plan to sell electronic and physical/paper raffle tickets. If, in the future, you’d like to sell raffle tickets only online, simply uncheck the box!
2. Set the ticket numbers for each ticket type in your dashboard.
Under the first raffle section during setup, open “More Options” to define your starting numbers. Reports will add a prefix of W to online ticket numbers and P to printed entries. Some organizers prefer to stagger these numbers. For example, printed raffle tickets are numbered at 1-499 and virtual raffle tickets would start at 500. When our random number generator works its magic, everyone who bought a raffle ticket is included!
3. Start marketing your fundraising raffle.
Sharing your online raffle website via social media is great, but you should also promote it within your community using posters, lawn signs, and postcards printed with QR codes directing people to your raffle website (here’s a great example of a hybrid raffle that used QR codes on their printed marketing materials!).
4. Begin selling raffle tickets.
- Virtual raffle ticket purchases are tracked and entered automatically in the Eventgroove system! All you need to do is spread the word.
- Enter physical raffle ticket purchases into the CSV template accessible from the “Enter Physical Entries” section within your Dashboard. When you close your raffle ticket sales period, upload the CSV file into the system. That way, the money raised can be tallied and entered into the prize drawing.
5. Run your drawing.
You can pick winning tickets though the Eventgroove random number generator or pick them yourself!
Run a Successful Hybrid Fundraising Raffle with These Tips from Nonprofits Using Eventgroove
Sell virtual raffle tickets in person!
Pro tip: Set up a QR code on your phone that leads to your raffle site. When someone wants to pay with a credit card in person, you can sell them a virtual raffle ticket! Just have them scan the code on your phone then make their purchase using your online raffle website.
On entering physical ticket sales.
Pro tip: Make sure to back out enough time before the drawing and closing of ticket sales to make sure all the information is correct and you get no error messages due to data entry mistakes.
Raffling multiple prizes?
Pro tip #1: Make sure the name of the prize in the raffle platform system exactly matches that on the spreadsheet of raffle tickets sold. For instance, if someone is bidding on a mug, indicate that in the spreadsheet so you know who bid on what. Additionally, the name of the prizes in the spreadsheet and your fundraising dashboard should match, otherwise, the system won’t recognize it and there will be an error message, slowing down the drawing process!
Pro tip #2: When you’re raffling tons of items (such as our church customer who held a virtual basket raffle with over 300 raffle prizes!), the system can take a little longer to draw winners for each of the prizes. So, if prize winners expect to pick up their items after church (or at the end of your fundraising event), make sure to start that process with a 15-30 minute time cushion!
Want to change the closing date of your hybrid raffle?
Pro tip: Make that decision before the raffle ends within the raffle platform system, otherwise you can’t change the closing date.
Examples of Real Nonprofits Combining Virtual and Traditional Raffles
Prince of Peace Church successfully raffled 30 prizes with a hybrid basket raffle.
St. Joseph’s creative holiday raffle introduced a new prize for every day of their “25 Days of Christmas” fundraiser.
Ready to dive in?
Eventgroove is ready to help! We’re committed to helping nonprofits reach their fundraising goals and will be there for you every step of the way. Set up an Eventgroove Fundraising account or hit the button below to schedule a demo of our fundraising platform.